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Mt. Hood Community College will be adhere to state mask mandate for new school year

FILE - MHCC President Lisa Skari congratulated all the graduates who took part in a ceremony in June. For the start of the fall term at Mt. Hood Community College, students, faculty and staff won't be required to show proof of vaccination.

The term begins Monday, Sept. 20.

"We felt that requiring vaccinations would create an educational-access inequity that would disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)," said Jessica Roberts, public information officer for MHCC.

"Additionally, Oregon law allows for people (to) request exemption from vaccination requirements for personal, religious or medical reasons."

Even if the school did have a vaccine mandate, students or employees of the school could still bypass the rule through these exemptions.

As of now, Lane Community College in Eugene and Central Oregon Community College in Bend are the only community colleges in Oregon requiring students and staff be vaccinated. However, Central Oregon will only require students living on campus to be vaccinated.

A majority of state universities and colleges are also requiring students be vaccinated in order to attend classes for the 2021 fall term.

Make sure to check with your student's college or university regarding their vaccination policy before sending your student off to campus this fall.

Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday, Aug. 11, that regardless if they are vaccinated or not, Oregonians must wear a masks when indoors. MHCC will adhere to the new mask mandate.

The community college has created an internal committee comprised of students and staff to inform the administration on how those groups would like the college to proceed with restrictions for the fall term.

"We anticipate that restrictions will still be in place," Roberts said.

The committee and MHCC leadership are also working on broader COVID-19 related precautions, like having health-check stations on campus, COVID-19 testing, ventilation system analysis and improvements and vaccine incentive programs.

The virus will continue to impose limits on in-person instruction at MHCC.

"This fall term, approximately 33% of our classes will be on campus and the remainder will be online or hybrid," Roberts said.


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